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Air Show at Wrigley Field: Pirates at Cubs

15 August 2009 No Comment

Given all of the promotional days at Wrigley Field throughout the season, I would argue that if you only have one day to attend a Chicago Cubs during the season, you should attend the Friday afternoon game on Chicago’s Air and Water Show weekend.

Let me give you a visual – in the bottom of the 2nd and Cubs’ pitcher Randy Wells at the plate (the second batter of the inning), all the fans in the bleachers stood up and starting pointing towards the press box. I thought, “What is going on? What are they pointing at?” At that moment, seven U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flew overhead from the press box towards the bleachers – causing fans as well as the players to jump. You could see them make a turn left and minutes later they were buzzing Wrigley Field again, this time flying from the left field bleachers towards the first base line. This fly over was the biggest of the day, but continued for the entire game as solo and paired jets constantly buzzed Wrigley Field.

Friday’s game is better than Saturday’s or Sunday’s because Friday afternoon is flying practice – meaning the pilots have free reign to fly over Wrigley Field (or anywhere in Chicago for that matter) as much as they want. Saturday and Sunday are show days – meaning they will fly over occasionally but mainly only if it is part of their show routine.

Obtaining Tickets
With friends of mine going to the game, I just needed to buy any ticket to get into Wrigley Field since I was planning to sit with them. I bought a SRO ticket for $15 from the ticket office right before game time and immediately had to enter the stadium under the Cubs day-of-game ticketing rules.

As I have written in prior posts, the Cubs always have SRO ticket available on the day of the game. Friday’s announced crowd was 41,619 – the largest of the season – meaning that the Cubs have not sold out of SRO tickets on the day of the game yet this season.

The Game
The Cubs started the game out with a bang as the Air Force jets buzzed Wrigley Field. They scored four runs in the first inning and 10 runs in the second inning en route to a 17-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Derrek Lee led the charge driving in a career high-tying seven RBI. The last time the Cubs scored 14 runs in the first two innings of a game was on June 7, 1906.

Also, the 17-2 victory was the Cubs largest winning margin since they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 20-1 on May 5, 2001 and the most runs they have scored since defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 19-5 on April 30, 2008 – both games I attended.

The Cubs 10-run second inning was just the third 10-run inning I have witnessed in 896 MLB games attended. The other two occurred on:

June 28, 1992 – Minnesota Twins at Oakland Athletics – 4th inning (10 runs)
May 7, 1997 – Montreal Expos at San Francisco Giants – 6th inning (13 runs)

Post Game
After the game, I went on an unintended Wrigleyville pub crawl – although the bars and restaurants were a couple blocks away from Wrigley Field.

1) Immediately after the game, I went to Guthrie’s Tavern, located at 1300 W. Addison St, a few blocks west of Wrigley. Guthrie’s Tavern is a more relaxing location than staying in the immediate vicinity of Wrigley Field.
2) After Guthrie’s, I met Nicole and some other friends at Rockit Bar & Grill located at the corner of Clark St. and Waveland Ave. Rockit was not overcrowded when we arrived.
3) For dinner, we went to El Mariachi Tequila Bar & Grill located at 3906 N. Broadway St. between Sheridan Rd. and Clarendon Ave. Once again El Mariachi is located a few blocks from Wrigley Field meaning you can have a more peaceful meal if that is what you prefer.
4) After dinner, we went to Bar on Buena, located at 910 W. Buena Ave., a local hang out five blocks north of Wrigley Field.

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